Tracey Taylor has dipped in and out of forestry since university days, where she spent a summer working with Forestry Resources Tasmania harvesting and pollinating seed. This week, the Network welcomed Tracey into a new role which will deliver for the industry a plan to improve diversity outcomes in the Tasmanian forest sector.
Working in a variety of roles across government—including in the areas of water management and animal welfare—Tracey is also an experienced potato extension officer.
Most recently though, Tracey—who is based in the north of the state—worked with Skills Tasmania and Department of Education’s Trade Training Centres on workforce development and training activities.
“This new role as Workforce and Diversity Manager with the TFFPN is exciting as it brings together many of my skills and experience that I have gained throughout my career,” she said.
“I love the idea of being able to work with the industry to deliver some great workforce and diversity outcomes for the betterment of the sector.”
Tracey said her vision in her two years in this role is to pave the way to a more gender and culturally diverse Tasmanian forest industry.
“I hope that I’ll be able to achieve this vision through developing a plan that and adopting a framework that is collaborative across the sector and will support employers and future employees to work in this sector.”
While industry is embracing of increased diversity, Tracey acknowledges there are currently some challenges in attracting and retaining workers across the value chain.
“Many of our key Tasmanian sectors are focusing on attracting new and diverse workforces, and as a result there is competition for these workers across Tasmania. This presents a key challenge for our project—how do we promote our sector as one of choice to the future workforce?”
Tracey’s involvement with forestry has extended beyond her professional life, working with Private Forests Tasmania on tree planting and conservation programs on her property in the Northern Midlands.
“While I’ve spent most of my career working with people and plants, many people are also surprised to learn I’m also a lifetime animal lover. I’m constantly surrounded by a variety of pets and livestock at home and volunteer as a foster carer for cats and kittens for a local not for profit organisation.”
The development of a forest industry Diversity Action Plan is thanks to a two-year funding commitment by the Tasmanian Government.
Members can get in touch with Tracey by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.